From the 101 Things in 1001 Days list – #95 Learn 5 new species of birds that come to my house

I already knew some of the birds that come here. We have cardinals, robins, and mourning doves. We also have resident pheasants and some turkey vultures. (Yesterday a turkey vulture was standing in the driveway looking at Spirit. At his age that’s a bad sign.)

But the birds that I had to get the bird books out for but I now can ID by myself are juncos, cowbirds, common grackles, meadowlarks, and black vultures. I always thought the meadowlarks were killdeer because they nest on the ground but they didn’t act like killdeer. I finally looked them up and figured out why. We have lots of them. I only saw one black vulture (but there has to be more) around. They have white feathers in their wings that are very obvious when they are flying.

I did some spring cleaning in my garden yesterday. I cleared out a bunch of dead weeds. The soil looks great! It is moist, black, and crumbly. The natural soil here is hard clay. I’ve made the beds from composted horse manure. I disturbed more worms yesterday pulling weeds than I saw the whole first year I tried to plant things here. The roses and lilacs are starting to get leaves. The sedums are growing great and the mint is coming up. My redbud is even starting to get its red buds.


I had to keep repeating to myself, “It is April 1.” The frost free date here is in May so you can’t get too excited about planting things yet.